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Sue and Settle: Regulating Behind Closed Doors
What is Sue and Settle?
"Sue and Settle" refers to when a federal agency agrees to a settlement agreement, in a lawsuit from special interest groups, to create priorities and rules outside of the normal rulemaking process. The agency intentionally relinquishes statutory discretion by committing to timelines and priorities that often realign agency duties. These settlement agreements are negotiated behind closed doors with no participation from the public or affected parties.
As an example, between 2009 and 2012, EPA chose not to defend itself in over 60 lawsuits from special interest advocacy groups. These cases resulted in settlement agreements and EPA publishing more than 100 new regulations - including the recent Clean Power Plan.
Recent Notices of Intent to Sue on EPA's Website
|12/22/2016||CAA, Sierra Club and Environmental Integrity Project
Failure to grant or deny a petition to object to a proposed Title V Operating Permit for Wheelabrator Frackville Energy, Inc. power plant in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania.
Mandatory duty challenge to Region 5 demanding that they act on Ohio's 2016 303(d) list.
|12/7/2016||MPRSA, New York Department of State, New York Department of Environmental Conservation
NOI regarding EPA designation of Eastern Long Island Sounds dredged material disposal site.
|11/23/2016||CAA, Environmental Integrity Project, Sierra Club, and Air Alliance Houston
For Failure to Timely Grant or Deny a Petition to Object to Part 70 Operating Permit No. 01553 Issued to the ExxonMobil Corporation for the Baytown Olefins Plant in Harris County, Texas.
For a full list of EPA's Notices of Intent to Sue, visit http://www.epa.gov/ogc/noi.html.
What is New in Sue and Settle?
- 1/26: Cleveland.com | Conservation groups threaten lawsuit to end auctions, ban fracking in Wayne National Forest
- 1/23: The Center for Food Safety | Public Interest Groups, Farmers File Lawsuit Challenging Monsanto’s Toxic Pesticides
- 1/18: E&E | EPA, Sierra Club reach deal in monitoring suit
- 1/16: Billings Gazette | Court denies stay on BLM flaring rule
- 1/13: Salt Lake Tribune | BLM, environmental groups, off-roaders make deal on roads, oil and gas
- 1/12: E&E | Fracking rule clash gets new court date
- 1/12: Animal Welfare Institute | Organizations Petition EPA to Halt Use of Deadly Predator Poison
- 1/10: The Daily Sentinel | BLM revises oil shale royalty rates
- 1/10: E&E | EPA advances incinerator guidelines for states
- 1/9: E&E | Companies, groups sue Interior over valuation rule
- 1/6: Juneau Empire | Feds Agree to New Deadline for Fairbanks Air Cleanup
- 1/4: CNS News | BLM Pushes Sage Grouse Protection By Restricting Mining on 10 Million Acres in 6 States
- 1/3: The National Law Review | D.C. District Court Grants Settlement on RCRA Oil and Gas Waste Rules Litigation Proposed by EPA and Environmentalists
See all -- Sue and Settle News Archive
What are the Economic Implications of our Findings?
Interactive List of All Sue & Settle Cases
Also see this alternate table, which lists court cases resolved by agency action in response to legal challenges.